It is estimated that almost 40 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches. Many suffer daily from the agonizing pain that is usually accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Along with the pounding head they are highly sensitive to any light and the slightest of sounds. Daily life is difficult and miserable for those suffering migraines and many are debilitated by them.
Even though there are medications and treatments available for this chronic pain, not only are those patients subject to side effects that may be as bad in other areas as the headaches themselves, the medications and treatments do not work for all sufferers.
Good news is on the horizon for many of migraine sufferers with a surgical procedure that is now possible thanks to the discover by Dr. Bahman Guyuron, MD. Head of the Plastic Surgery Department at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Dr. Guyuron has pioneered a surgery that can be performed by plastic surgeons. Dr. Guyuron discovered that some of his patients who suffered migraines reported that after their forehead lift, their symptoms of chronic migraines disappeared. A two for one deal in getting a younger look and getting rid of their migraines too made for very happy patients.
Dr. Guyuron developed this surgical technique with the idea to deactivate the sites that trigger migraines. Studies have indicated that migraine pains are started in certain muscle areas or nerves in the suffers head. From 12 years of performing this procedure, Dr. Guyuron has several reports published stating the results he has had to date.
Along with others, Dr. Guyuron have discovered that after five years, between 60 and 70 percent of the patients who had this procedure done reported at least a partial ease from their debilitating migraine symptoms while 30 percent of the patients claim that they have experienced 100% relief of their migraines. Medically this procedure is better-known as a nerve decompression surgery that as fewer than 300 doctors trained to perform this procedure. As such, candidates are carefully chosen and must meet certain criteria.
Surgical interventions are not something you are going to do when you are first diagnosed with any illness or disease. As such, prior to having this surgery, Dr.Guyuron's patients are given Botox to find the exact trigger site. Should they respond positive from the Botox injection, they are expected in all likelihood to have have effective results.
While the outcomes have been encouraging to date, only a small, select number of patients have been studied. Not just everyone who suffers migraines are candidates for this procedure. Experts say that roughly five percent of migraine sufferers are good prospects for this nerve decompression surgery. Strict criteria must be met, which include and not limited to being a current patient with a neurologist and have undergone treatment for severe migraines and failed to have any improvement from basic migraine treatments.
Not all medical professionals agree that plastic surgeons should treat patients for headaches. The opinion of many headache specialists is that the issue with surgery is permanent and patients may suffer from potential side effects, including bleeding, hair loss and numbness around the incision as well as a risk for infection.
The procedure can cost in the range of $5000 to $10,000. Patients also need to be aware that their insurance may not cover the treatment making the total expense an out-of-pocket cost.
For someone who suffers from these chronic headaches and nothing has worked, it is worth their time to talk to their doctor or neurologist about this possible surgery.